Diet & Food

1 in 10 cases of eczema in children are thought to be caused by a food allergy.

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Food allergies

Not enough is known about the link between diet and eczema, but there are certain food groups acknowledged among the eczema-suffering community to aggravate symptoms or cause flare-ups.

Food allergies are consequences of an abnormal immune response to a food protein, these are food allergens. A lot of foods contain salicylates, particularly fruit, and this can cause itching and redness because they increase histamine. Histamine is a chemical that occurs naturally in certain foods. It’s also one of the chemicals that is released in the body as part of an allergic reaction, which causes itching and redness.

Typical foods associated with eczema flare ups are:

  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Soy products
  • Wheat
  • Fruits
  • Cow’s milk
  • Fish

There is no 100% reliable test to identify foods which trigger your eczema, so an exclusion diet is the best way to discover if food is a contributing factor or not. If you suspect you have a food intolerance that is affecting your skin, keep a food diary and see if you can spot trends with what you eat and how your skin reacts. You can then exclude those foods for a while, and gradually reintroduce them to gage the effect they have on your skin.

If you suspect food to be the contributing factor with your eczema, check with your GP before excluding anything from your diet, as it is important to maintain a balanced diet for overall health and wellbeing.

Top Tips

On the plus side, there are food groups that could help with your eczema. Essential fatty acids are needed by the body to assist with healthy growth, development and function. Omegas 3 and 6 are vital for the body to keep skin hydrated and supple.

Good sources of Omega 3:

  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Soybeans
  • Beef
  • Cauliflower
  • Shrimp

Good sources of Omega 6:

  • Safflower Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Sesame
  • Peanut
  • Avocado
  • Cereals